SMOKE & MIRRORS!
Fool your eyes with these optical illusions
RN: 10110501 - LIFE SCIENCE > HUMAN ANATOMY
5 & 6
An 'optical illusion' is an image that is visually deceptive or misleading. Some objects trick your eyes so that objects appear to move when they are actually still, and you see objects that are not really there at all! Optical illusions can also often cause us to perceive objects bigger, smaller or more bent out of shape than they really are. Study the optical illusions in this science experiment to see how confusing these images can be to our eyes and brains:
STUFF YOU NEED [MATERIALS]
- ONLY YOUR EYES
HOW TO PROCEED [PROCEDURE]
- Look at the following images and notice how these optical illusions easily fool our eyes and brains, but when measured or studied carefully, we realize that our eyes are deceiving us!
In the images above, the black and white circular lines make these illusions seem as if there are various depths in the image, creating different entryways and tunnels.
On the right is a 'café wall illusion', also known as the 'Münsterberg illusion' is an optical illusion produced by a black and white rectangular tessellation, when the tiles are shifted in a zigzag pattern, as illustrated above. While the pattern seems to diverge towards the upper and lower right corners in the upper figure, the gray lines are actually parallel.
Study these diagrams and notice how the background pattern confuses our eyes and brain and make the thick horizontal and vertical lines appear as if they are bent and not completely straight and parallel to each other. These are examples of the 'Hering Illusion'.
These are examples of the 'Hermann grid illusion'. The little dots in between the squares on the left is because of simple 'eye assimilation' of colour in between the gaps. The flickering black dots in the image on the right are another illusion as there are only white dots in this image. The sensation of black dots is an expectation created by the adjacent, and more voluminous, black squares. Your brain fills in the colour black into the small white dots.
Our eyes use many clues from our surroundings to work out how far away and how big things are. We often compare the size of things with other objects close by to give us a sense of perspective. Look at these examples of pictures that have confusing clues and make it difficult to judge distance and perspective properly.
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